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Darwin in letters, 1879: Tracing roots


Darwin spent a considerable part of 1879 in the eighteenth century. His journey back in time started when he decided to publish a biographical account of his grandfather Erasmus Darwin to accompany a translation of an essay on Erasmus’s evolutionary ideas…

Matches: 16 hits

  • There are summaries of all Darwin's letters from the year 1879 on this website.  The full texts
  • 27 of the print edition of The correspondence of Charles Darwin , published by Cambridge
  • to publish a biographical account of his grandfather Erasmus Darwin to accompany a translation of an
  • the sensitivity of the tips. Despite this breakthrough, when Darwin first mentioned the book to his
  • 1879 ). He was also unsatisfied with his account of Erasmus Darwin, declaring, ‘My little biography
  • W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, [after 26] July [1879] ). From July, Darwin had an additional worry: the
  • Darwin asthe deep thinker’, while friends such as Ernst Haeckel, who had rebutted the physician
  • lifes work, which is crowned with glory’ ( letter from Ernst Haeckel, 9 February 1879 ). The
  • February 1879 ). Carus Sterne was the pseudonym of Ernst Krause, editor of the journal
  • theory of development in connection with Charles Darwin and Ernst Haeckel. Kosmos was, as
  • Darwin, Darwin decided to publish an English translation of Krauses essay as a short book. …
  • the children correctly’, mentioning in particular that Francis Galton was the son of one of Erasmus
  • to contradict false statements that had been published by Francis Galtons aunt, Mary Anne
  • for Captain Robert FitzRoy on the Beagle voyage, Francis Beaufort of the Admiralty described the
  • and poet’ ( Correspondence vol. 1, letter from Francis Beaufort to Robert FitzRoy, 1 September
  • perplexed than ever about life of D r . D’ ( letter to Francis Darwin, 12 July [1879] ). It was

Darwin in letters, 1880: Sensitivity and worms


‘My heart & soul care for worms & nothing else in this world,’ Darwin wrote to his old Shrewsbury friend Henry Johnson on 14 November 1880. Darwin became fully devoted to earthworms in the spring of the year, just after finishing the manuscript of…

Matches: 19 hits

  • heart & soul care for worms & nothing else in this world,’ Darwin wrote to his old
  • to adapt to varying conditions. The implications of Darwins work for the boundary between animals
  • studies of animal instincts by George John Romanes drew upon Darwins early observations of infants, …
  • of evolution and creation. Many letters flowed between Darwin and his children, as he took delight
  • Financial support for science was a recurring issue, as Darwin tried to secure a Civil List pension
  • with Samuel Butler, prompted by the publication of Erasmus Darwin the previous year. …
  • Charles Harrison Tindal, sent a cache of letters from two of Darwins grandfathers clerical friends
  • divines to see a pigs body opened is very amusing’, Darwin replied, ‘& that about my
  • coloured by controversy. The work had been co-authored with Ernst Krause, whose essay on Erasmuss
  • 1879, an issue produced in honour of Darwins birthday. Krause enlarged and revised the essay for
  • Evolution old and new , which had appeared in May 1879. Krause wanted to correct Butlers
  • powder & shot’ ( Correspondence vol. 27, letter from Ernst Krause, 7 June 1879 , and
  • themosquito inflated to an elephant’ ( letter from Ernst Krause, 9 December 1880 ). Again, …
  • Mr Butler whatever.’ Power of movement With Franciss assistance, the last of Darwins
  • of the nervous system, and the nature ofsensitivity’. Francis Balfour described Movement in
  • the intake of stones and flints to aid digestion. He asked Francis to check for castings on old
  • rightly thought thequeer subjectof interest to Francis Galton, who had already taken thumb
  • extending the study to public-school pupils ( letter to Francis Galton, 7 April 1880 , and
  • Williams interest in geology, and longed to see Francis elected fellow of the Royal Society. He

Darwin in letters, 1881: Old friends and new admirers


In May 1881, Darwin, one of the best-known celebrities in England if not the world, began writing about all the eminent men he had met. He embarked on this task, which formed an addition to his autobiography, because he had nothing else to do. He had…

Matches: 20 hits

  • In May 1881, Darwin, one of the best-known celebrities in England if not the world, began
  • a very old man, who probably will not last much longer.’ Darwins biggest fear was not death, but
  • sweetest place on this earth’. From the start of the year, Darwin had his demise on his mind. He
  • provision for the dividing of his wealth after his death. Darwins gloominess was compounded by the
  • and new admirers got in touch, and, for all his fears, Darwin found several scientific topics to
  • about Darwin in the St Jamess Gazette on 8 December. Krause countered Butlers accusations in a
  • of the Darwin family consulted anxiously about whether Krauses Kosmos article should be
  • on 4 January , ‘would like its publication & call me & Krause liars’. Thomas
  • of the false accusation’. Other friends rallied round. Francis Balfour translated Krauses account
  • had been a major undertaking for both Darwin and his son Francis, who assisted in the many
  • of their behaviour were trustworthy ( letter to Francis Galton, 8 March [1881] ). Although results
  • July, sending the pages to Germany for further checks by Francis Darwin, who was spending the summer
  • Ruskin, who lived there. Sending the last two chapters to Francis on 27 May , Darwin wrote, …
  • to begin any new subject requiring much work’, he told Francis Darwin on 30 May . ‘I have been
  • case.’ An additional motivation may have been to support Francis Darwins published research on
  • Darwin tried a variety of plants and reagents, telling Francis on 17 October , ‘I have wasted
  • up the job; but I cannot endure to do this’, Darwin told Francis on 9 Novemberand writing
  • scientific belief. However, he objected when biologists like Ernst Haeckel converted the Darwinian
  • Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company led Darwin to chide Francis for giving a klinostat designed
  • supporters, and rejoiced in his election. Promoting Franciss own botanical research was as

List of correspondents


Below is a list of Darwin's correspondents with the number of letters for each one. Click on a name to see the letters Darwin exchanged with that correspondent.    "A child of God" (1) Abberley,…

Matches: 21 hits

  • … Below is a list of Darwin's correspondents with the number of letters for each one. …
  • … G. E. (1) Beaufort, Francis (5) …
  • … Boole, M. E. (3) Boott, Francis (7) …
  • … Dareste, Camille (9) Darwin family (1) …
  • … Darwin, Emma (191) Darwin, Francis (287) …
  • … James (1) Dieffenbach, Ernst (13) …
  • … Ercolani, G. B. (2) Ernst, Adolf (9) …
  • … Everest, Robert (1) Ewbank, Francis (1) …
  • … Fox, W. D. (225) Francis, George (1) …
  • … Galton, Erasmus (1) Galton, Francis (118) …
  • … Haeckel, Agnes (1) Haeckel, Ernst (98) …
  • … S. M. (2) Hesse-Wartegg, Ernst von (3) …
  • … Kraus, Carl (b) (3) Krause, Ernst (94) …
  • … Archibald (1) Lloyd, Francis (1) …
  • … Parker, Charles (2) Parker, Francis (1) …
  • … Pfeiffer, E. J. (2) Pfitzer, Ernst (1) …
  • … Walford, Edward (2) Walker, Francis (6) …
  • … George (2) Warner, Francis (1) …
  • … F. M. (2) Wedgwood, Francis (4) …
  • … (2) Wemyss-Charteris-Douglas, Francis (1) …
  • … White, Adam (2) White, Francis Buchanan (3) …

Life of Erasmus Darwin


The Life of Erasmus Darwin (1879) was a curious departure for Darwin. It was intended as a biographical note to accompany an essay on Erasmus's scientific work by the German writer Ernst Krause. But Darwin became immersed in his grandfather's…

Matches: 10 hits

  • … his grandfather's mind and character. To compose the work, Darwin gathered materials and …
  • … book into grist for controversy.  In February 1879, Darwin received an unusual birthday …
  • … produced in his honour. The issue contained an essay by Ernst Krause on the evolutionary ideas of …
  • … poems, The Botanic Garden and Temple of Nature . But Darwin had never known his grandfather, …
  • … in Darwinismus '; ' It piles up the glory and would please Francis '. Darwin' …
  • … 'men of science'. The biographical sketch was thus a way for Darwin to trace his own …
  • … character. Once a celebrated poet and philosopher, Erasmus Darwin's fame had declined sharply …
  • … wholly & shamefully ignorant of my grandfathers life ', Darwin wrote to Krause on 14 March …
  • … '. While Darwin was writing his lengthy notice, Krause revised and greatly enlarged his …
  • … Erasmus's character and restored his good reputation. Francis Galton was pleased to have been …

1879 Letters now online


In 1879, Darwin continued his research on movement in plants and researched, wrote, and published a short biography of his grandfather Erasmus Darwin as an introduction to a translation of an essay by Ernst Krause on Erasmus’s scientific work. Darwin’s son…

Matches: 10 hits

  • In 1879, Darwin continued his research on movement in plants and researched, wrote, and published a
  • most of August on holiday in the Lake District. In October, Darwins youngest son, Horace, became
  • from her father, who, although an admirer of Charles Darwin, thought Horace a poor prospect for his
  • December [1879] ) In early 1879, as a tribute on Darwins 70th birthday, the editor of
  • until the preface was longer than the translated article. Darwin contacted cousins, sent his sons to
  • little book, with low but respectable sales, and Darwin was relieved to hear that his friends
  • sense & not to professional advisors .  ( Letter to the Darwin children, 21 February 1879 ) …
  • for receiving certain irritations  ( Letter t o Francis Darwin, 2 July [1879] ) …
  • 23 October 1879 ) During the year Darwin continued his support for other workers in
  • … ( Letter to THFarrer, 13 October 1879 ) Darwin wrote this to his son Horaces

Darwin in letters, 1877: Flowers and honours


Ever since the publication of Expression, Darwin’s research had centred firmly on botany. The year 1877 was no exception. The spring and early summer were spent completing Forms of flowers, his fifth book on a botanical topic. He then turned to the…

Matches: 24 hits

  • Ever since the publication of Expression , Darwins research had centred firmly on botany. The
  • of these projects would culminate in a major publication. Darwins botany was increasingly a
  • assisted his fathers research on movement and bloom, and Darwin in turn encouraged his sons own
  • The year 1877 was more than usually full of honours. Darwin received two elaborate photograph albums
  • from Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands. Closer to home, Darwin received an honorary Doctorate of
  • sites for possible earthworm activity. Now in his 69th year, Darwin remained remarkably productive, …
  • no controversy. In his autobiographical reflections, Darwin remarked: ‘no little discovery of
  • … (‘Recollections’, p. 419). During the winter and spring, Darwin was busy preparing the manuscript of
  • and presented to the Linnean Society of London. In the book, Darwin adopted the more recent term
  • as dimorphic without comparing pollen-grains & stigmas’, Darwin remarked to Joseph Dalton
  • measurements of the size and number of pollen-grains, Darwin compared the fertility of individual
  • In the end, Darwin did not publish on the subject, but Francis later reported some of the results of
  • 25 August 1877 ). At Down House, Darwin and Francis devised a method of recording leaf
  • with thread, card, and bits of glass. Encouraging Francis Darwin greatly enjoyed
  • eminent German botanist Ferdinand Julius Cohn, who confirmed Franciss observations: ‘the most
  • Infusoria’ ( letter from F. J. Cohn, 5 August 1877 ). Franciss paper eventually appeared in the
  • of colour sense. Darwin had written to the editor Ernst Ludwig Krause on 30 June 1877 , ‘I have
  • remember declaring that they were colour blind’. Krause included these remarks, which did not appear
  • at the end of the translation of Darwins article. Krause had argued, in keeping with Darwins own
  • der Entwickelungslehre in Verbindung mit Charles Darwin und Ernst Haeckel (Journal for uniform
  • by institution. The most prominenttorchbearerwas Ernst Haeckel, whose portrait appeared first
  • ancestry. The German zoologist and physician Carl Theodor Ernst von Siebold sent photographs of a
  • … ). An American banker, William Burrows Bowles, having read Ernst Haeckel onPithecanthropus alalus’ …
  • had visited Down House and become friendly with George and Francis. He wrote to Francis on 24

Fritz Müller


Fritz Müller, a German who spent most of his life in political exile in Brazil, described Darwin as his second father, and Darwin's son, Francis, wrote that, although they never met 'the correspondence with Müller, which continued to the close of…

Matches: 12 hits

  • Francis Darwin, in Life and letters of Charles Darwin , wrote of Fritz Müller They
  • strongest regard. Fritz Müller, in a letter to Ernst Krause written shortly after Darwin
  • history. It was during this ten-year period that he read Darwins On the origin of species , …
  • in the German scientific community and eventually came to Darwins attention. Earlier in 1861, …
  • brother Hermann, provide important evidence in support of Darwins theory. The book, simply
  • him frequent dizzy spellsThis same illness had prevented Darwin from working on his follow-up book
  • …  ( Botany ).  Having now read Müllers book, Darwin initiated a correspondence with
  • of the fact that he was addressing a complete stranger, Darwins tone in this first letter was
  • and readClimbing plants’, he had already written to Darwin describing several genera of
  • that after consulting his friend Joseph Dalton Hooker, Darwin sent off the letters for
  • was set for the rest of their correspondence. With each work Darwin sent, he received valuable
  • of the Entomological society of London in 1879 on Darwins suggestion . Müller continued to

Volume 28 (1880) now published


1880 opened and closed with an irksome controversy with Samuel Butler, prompted by the publication of Erasmus Darwin the previous year. Darwin became fully devoted to earthworms in the spring of the year, just after finishing the manuscript of Movement in…

Matches: 17 hits

  • with Samuel Butler, prompted by the publication of Erasmus Darwin the previous year. Darwin
  • most ambitious botanical book. Many letters flowed between Darwin and his children, as he took
  • Financial support for science was a recurring issue, as Darwin tried to secure a Civil List pension
  • Volume 28 of the Correspondence of Charles Darwin is now available. Read more
  • the Lewisham and Blackheath Scientific Society after meeting Darwin at Down in July 1880. Forty
  • the Yorkshire NaturalistsUnion came to Down to present Darwin with a memorial address. Among less
  • year began with controversy. Samuel Butler was outraged that Ernst Krause, in his book Erasmus
  • in a letter to the Athenaeum , and in his next book. Darwin, mortified, drafted letters
  • by science, I must now lose some for science Darwin was pessimistic about the likely
  • work on the proof-sheets of Movement in plants , Darwin began writing his final book, The
  • decades in the making, drawing on research interests that Darwin returned to time and again. …
  • getting some provision for Wallace. In October, Darwin again took up the project, …
  • the help of Arabella Burton Buckley and Thomas Henry Huxley, Darwin drew up and circulated a
  • Gladstone, granted their request, writing personally to Darwin. The draft memorial and other details
  • you may have pleased him. Early in the year, Darwins children clubbed together to buy
  • Younger members of the family thrived. On 3 January, Darwins son Horace married Ida Farrer, and in
  • their small grandson, Bernard, especially while his father, Francis, spent the summer months

John Murray


Darwin's most famous book On the origin of species by means of natural selection (Origin) was published on 22 November 1859. The publisher was John Murray, who specialised in non-fiction, particularly politics, travel and science, and had published…

Matches: 18 hits

  • Darwin's most famous book  On the origin of species by means of natural
  • Scotland : it contains more than two hundred letters from Darwin, from his first negotiations in
  • date from 1859, the year of the publication of  Origin . Darwins son Francis described how his
  • more interesting correspondence ( LL  1, p. v). Darwin returned from his voyage around the
  • …  This had been published in London by Henry Colburn, but Darwin felt that the arrangements had been
  • … ). Lyells talk with Murray must have been successful, for Darwin sold his copyright in the  …
  • a single volume. Returning to Murray the final proof sheets Darwin wrote, ‘I am much obliged for the
  • … ). Thus began the business relationship between Charles Darwin and John Murray. Darwins next
  • Murrays printers, and in the first copies some pages in Darwins chapter were transposed ( Letter
  • some present’ (12 June [1849] Letter 1245 ). Darwins next publications, his barnacle
  • would not have interested a commercial publisher. In 1854 Darwin had begun writing up his species
  • species was driven by natural selection. In order to ensure Darwins priority, his friends Charles
  • … ), who, without even reading the manuscript, offered Darwin two-thirds of the profit ( Letter 2443
  • the trade at 9 s .6 d . a copy ( Letter 2513a ). When Darwin first saw the finished volume, …
  • called for ( Letter 2549 ). In the end Murray paid Darwin £180 for the first edition of  Origin
  • of a world that is slowly and continuously changing. Darwin now began work on  The variation
  • his grandfatherErasmus Darwin ( Erasmus Darwin ).  Ernst Krause, a German botanist and science
  • plants (Movement in plants),  which he wrote with his son, Francis. It was extensively illustrated, …